CGC is HAMMERING grades

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CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby Plato's Half-Brother » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:13 am

CGC is absolutely hammering grades at the moment. Just HAMMERING them. I don't know if it's because their new graders simply lack experience or, more conspiratorily, they're doing it to discourage more submissions to "catch up", but it has been across the board hammering. Getting very, very frustrating, and very, VERY costly. You don't crack books out of slabs, fix their problems, and then have them end up back in the same grade.

That, and they're having tremendous QC issues. A customer had 10 books not sealed properly and they slipped out of the well, undoubtedly damaging them. Another customer has to send mislabeled books back. Another friend also had several mislabels.

This is getting absurd.

I wonder if anyone at CGC is even open to addressing these issues? Experience says no.



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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby Gaz973 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:39 am

CGC aren't hammering grades, their grading is so loose that it's getting beyond a joke. The last time I ever sent in a book that came back lower than expected was about five years ago. The only question these days is just how overgraded are books going to come back from them because consistency is out of the window.

My latest example of this was a Captain Britain. # 8 which I bought from another experienced dealer as a VF. I examined it and agreed that the other dealer had nailed it right as a VF. I sold it shortly afterwards and the customer was also in agreement that it was a VF. The customer then submitted it to CGC through Comicana Direct who is run by Nick Beckett who many of you will know as Flaming Telepath from the CGC boards who is very well respected as one of the best and most consistent graders around. He looked at it also and agreed that VF was the correct grade for it.

It just came back as a CGC 9.4. There was no way in hell that it was NM.

An ASM # 5 that I sold as a VG came back from CGC as a 6.0. It is the ugliest 6.0 and I would be disgusted if I bought it without seeing it first.

An ASM # 9 that I submitted with a large colour breaking crease and various other wear. Bought it from Comicana Direct as FN+ which should be right for a comic that that much wear and it came back as an 8.0. How the hell can a VF comic have a large colour breaking crease on the cover along with general wear on top of that?

I submitted an ASM # 15 that I'd cracked out of an old label CGC case because the case had a crack in it. It used to be a 7.5 and it came back an 8.5.

This may be all very nice for the submitters but it's not good for the hobby. It seems to me that CGC are responsible for the erosion of grading standards. I'm hoping that CBCS are coming out with tighter and more consistent grading, if they do then collectors will seek out their slabs on the secondary market. Who would want to buy an over graded CGC book when there is a much nicer copy sitting in a CBCS slab of the same grade?

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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby Plato's Half-Brother » Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:14 pm

I understand the broader issue of CGC overgrading. But CGC does undergrade, as well. And *at the moment* they are hammering grades, when only comparing CGC to CGC. When a book is in a 9.0 slab, and is properly pressed, with some pretty obvious flaws repaired, it shouldn't come back in that same 9.0 slab.

It speaks to a lot of inexperience in the grading room when, for example, a printer's crease, which is not normally discounted, is looked at as a regular crease, and the book severely downgraded because of it.

Relative to CGC, CGC is hammering grades right now.

The broader issues don't go away, granted, but that doesn't change CGC's grading at the moment, relative to CGC.

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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby Gaz973 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:51 pm

Our experiences seem to differ. The Captain Britain # 8 that I mentioned just came back and was as far overgraded as any book that I've had from them, four grading points away from where I and other experienced graders believed it should be.

I have books at CGC at the moment as well as books at CBCS. I'm interested to see how the current batch comes back especially after what you've said. I've sent some to CGC and some to CBCS deliberately so that I can compare the results I get from both.

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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby IronMan » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:50 pm

I guess I'm in the middle. Grading from CGC based on a few books just graded the last 2 weeks have been just about where expected. A TMNT 1 that I thought would get a 9.4 got 9.2 (this was a CPR on a previous 8.0) and a Wolverine 145 nabisco variant got 9.6 which is what was expected. Three weeks ago a IF 14 I thought 5.5-6.0 got 5.0, but same invoice a Wolverine 10 I thought 9.4 got 9.6. These are all close to as expected grades.

It most certainly is possible to to press a book properly, remove obvious flaws and get back the same grade. 9.0 or grades above and below. It's not just about the problems that get fixed, it's also about the problems that don't get fixed. A very small corner crease that breaks color, a couple fingerprints, some small color breaking spine tics. It's annoying to have to pay for grading notes - but if you can't SEE why the book is graded 9.0, then you need to pay and find out why so you know what they are focusing on.
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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby Number 6 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:10 pm

I have to agree with IronMan, I don't do a lot of CGC but my experience with them of late has been neither extremely strict nor loose, just kind of mixed.

I just got back this month a submission of three books, all of which had been professionally pressed.

The Detective #395 was purchased as a raw 9.0 from an experienced dealer. I really thought it had a solid shot at a 9.2 especially after the press but it came back 9.0. I can see defects that are holding it back that can't be fixed with pressing but this still seems like a super-strict 9.0 to me.

The Detective #402 was a cracked-out 9.2. That grade seemed a bit generous and I hoped that a press would improve it enough that it would at least retain that grade. But I seriously thought it would come back 9.0. Instead it came back 9.4. Now admittedly, the press did fix a lot of problems and it definately looks better. But with the color-breaking spine stress at the bottom staple and the thin dust shadow on the outside edge of the back cover, I personally don't see how it would be higher than a 9.2. This one seems a bit loose to me.

The Batman #251 was a cracked-out 9.4. While not a loosely graded book, I think it was a really borderline 9.4 and could just as easily slip to a tight 9.2. Again, had it pressed with the hopes it would retain the grade. And it did come back 9.4. And while there was some improvement from the press, it was extremely minor. Still a borderline 9.4 to me, neither strict nor loose.

And that was all in the same submission.

I also purchased two CGC books from the same seller which were both graded in the same submission back in July.

The CGC 9.0 Batman #221 is nice but seems fairly over-graded to me. There are some things that could definately be improved with a press. But frankly I'm afraid to crack it out and try because I honestly think that even with those improvements there's a pretty good chance it won't retain the 9.0 grade.

The CGC 9.2 Detective #425 on the other hand looks like a solid, straight-up 9.2, pretty much what I would imagine you're average 9.2 to look like.

And again, both those books were from the same submission graded at a time of the year when Comicannadirect was complaining about loosey-goosey grades from CGC.

So from my admittedly limited stand point it seems the results are kind of mixed with no real rhyme or reason to it.

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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby Stu_Pidman » Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:40 am

Plato's Half-Brother wrote: You don't crack books out of slabs, fix their problems, and then have them end up back in the same grade.


Why not? Pressing is no guarantee.

But thanks for posting, gives me hope that this rampant pressing might get some backlash eventually. I'd love to read more stories of Pressers becoming disillusioned with the technique :lol:
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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby Gaz973 » Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:31 pm

There have been plenty of stories of books not going up in grade after a press and even some going down after. Impossible to know how often that happens though.

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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby Plato's Half-Brother » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:21 am

IronMan wrote:
It most certainly is possible to to press a book properly, remove obvious flaws and get back the same grade. 9.0 or grades above and below. It's not just about the problems that get fixed, it's also about the problems that don't get fixed. A very small corner crease that breaks color, a couple fingerprints, some small color breaking spine tics. It's annoying to have to pay for grading notes - but if you can't SEE why the book is graded 9.0, then you need to pay and find out why so you know what they are focusing on.


I don't agree with this, but you know that's where I was coming from. There is a body of thought that says, and not without reason, that CGC has a "threshold" grading criteria, that "such and such flaw is allowed only in grade X.X...and no higher", no matter what the rest of the book looks like. For example...a 5.0 might have a very long color breaking crease on the front cover. The rest of the book could have various wear, or it could be fairly flawless (not arguing extremes, here, just generalities.)

And yes, this is most common in books that are 5.0 or worse, where the "good", or "fixable", is definitely outweighed by the bad, or unfixable.

I understand this well, and believe it to be true...however...if that's not the case, that there's one particular grade limiting flaw (and, most of the time, it's not, until we get to uber grades), then the minor things that are fixed from a GENERIC 9.0 should bring it up to a 9.2...or better. This is especially true in the upper mid-grades to higher grades (7.0 to 9.4.)

To have it come back the same grade is the lack of consistency to which I refer. If the book had obvious "yes, these are 9.0 flaws" that have now been removed...it shouldn't then grade again 9.0, unless (which is ultimately the answer) the graders themselves are being inconsistent.

And this lack of consistency is so (in)famous, high volume slab buyers know which serial code sequences to "look for" and which to "avoid" ("Avoid anything starting from 117 to 119! Those were the ULTRA loose periods!", for example.)

At this point, in the last six months, the pendulum has swung very much to the hammer side, with, of course, exceptions that make the rule (another client got a 9.8 on a book that has a 1" slightly CB crease in the logo box...the press made it flat, but it wasn't invisible by any means.)
Last edited by Plato's Half-Brother on Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby Plato's Half-Brother » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:24 am

Stu_Pidman wrote:
Plato's Half-Brother wrote: You don't crack books out of slabs, fix their problems, and then have them end up back in the same grade.


Why not? Pressing is no guarantee.

But thanks for posting, gives me hope that this rampant pressing might get some backlash eventually. I'd love to read more stories of Pressers becoming disillusioned with the technique :lol:


Nah, I won't become disillusioned. I'm fascinated by the entire process.

And, yes, pressing is "no guarantee." And in the real world, yes, books have even (GASP!) gone DOWN in grade after a press...BUT...theoretically, that should not be, and skill and experience can mitigate that problem substantially (I've told people not to crack certain books, as a press was not going to help at all, as the book was overgraded to begin with. That wasn't the case, here.)

Love Timdrake72.

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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby Stu_Pidman » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:33 am

Plato's Half-Brother wrote:Love Timdrake72.

;)


TimDrake72? :welcome: That guy kicked ass! :P
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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby Gaz973 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:46 pm

Stu_Pidman wrote:
Plato's Half-Brother wrote:Love Timdrake72.

;)


TimDrake72? :welcome: That guy kicked ass! :P


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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby SweetComic » Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:59 am

Which ASM #50 SS 7.5 would you rather own?

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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby Superior Spider-Man » Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:11 am

The bottom book has the Romita sig, a nicer wrap, much brighter colors, and not near the cover bleed through as the top one.

The top book is in a little bit nicer structural condition.

Still I would take the bottom one.
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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby MR-SigS » Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:28 am

The 2nd one. The first looks realigned and faded.
However, I do not agree that the 2nd is a 7.5, which I assume was the point of your question.
"Funny" how the PQ is the same on both. Though the paper isn't too visible on the 2nd one, it doesn't look as bright as the 1st.

But I'd still rather have the 2nd. I have a thing for nicely centered books.
When I have a choice, anyway.

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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby SweetComic » Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:07 pm

Yep my point was the 2 totally different books getting the same grade. At this level it shouldn't matter if it is mis-cut or had a printing error. Just looking at the wear alone makes it tough for me to agree they are both 7.5

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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby IronMan » Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:54 pm

Naa. They both look 7.5 to me. One is structurally noticeably nicer bu the colors have faded. The second has brighter colors but more wear. I'd only prefer the second because it has two signatures.
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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby Superior Spider-Man » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:44 am

MR-SigS wrote:However, I do not agree that the 2nd is a 7.5


+1

6.5 tops.

Enlarge the image and really inspect the entire cover. Then at the top of the spine where the impact damage is, there is also a chunk missing.

But hey, I'm a harsh grader on oversized scans. :lol:
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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby IronMan » Mon Dec 22, 2014 5:52 am

7.0 & 7.5 have always been grades that generate a bit of "controversy". Sometimes a 7.5 looks awesome and you wonder why it didn't get 8.5. Other 7.5's look like they ought to be a full grade lower. On key, expensive books 7.0-7.5 is a favorite grade point of mine. If you wait and shop, you can find some very pretty copies especially at 7.5. My Avengers 1 and Flash 105 sit a 7.5 and look nicer. They are the highest grade books that still allow a more significant defect, so just seem to be harder to agree on.
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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby SweetComic » Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:19 pm

I really am the fly in the ointment.
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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby Stu_Pidman » Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:34 pm

SweetComic wrote:I really am the fly in the ointment.
Image


Is that the book in the "this has got to be mislabeled" thread on CGC?
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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby Superior Spider-Man » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:17 pm

SweetComic wrote:I really am the fly in the ointment.
Image


:faint:
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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby Stu_Pidman » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:22 pm

Stu_Pidman wrote:Is that the book in the "this has got to be mislabeled" thread on CGC?


Yup, it is:

http://boards.collectors-society.com/ub ... 32&fpart=1
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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby Number 6 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:23 pm

Stu_Pidman wrote:
SweetComic wrote:I really am the fly in the ointment.
Image


Is that the book in the "this has got to be mislabeled" thread on CGC?


Yes, there's legitimate questions about whether it's actually over-graded, a label typo, or a crack-n-swap.

Might be best to wait to throw that one out in this discussion until it's it's been definately determined whether that's the book's "actual" grade or not.

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Re: CGC is HAMMERING grades

Postby SweetComic » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:35 pm

Not my fault. Someone posted a link to that other site and I started lookin around and found this.


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